No Expectations in Love or Photos

Continued from Moody Romance Stalls Mid-Flight

I didn’t expect to see what I saw on the computer screen that day. It was a pic of a woman wearing only fishnet stockings laying in a provocative pose on an unmade bed. I did two things, immediately. I memorized the web site and quickly closed the screen, looking up to check if Fly_Boy noticed. I couldn’t be sure; he was, as my good friend summed up — impenetrable. A computer is a very private thing — like a daytimer, a diary. It tells a story within itself. A stranger to you could check your favorite list or your bookmarks if you have a Mac and have a pretty good idea of who you are and what interests you. And that’s not even delving into the hidden folders that exist to protect the guilty.

I’m not a prude. I have a pretty good understanding of the male mind, having been brought up with three of them, married to one such creature for 16 years and raised a son, whom I adore. But, stumbling upon this discovery on Fly_Boy’s computer raised some interesting questions for me. I admit — I’m an emotional creature. When I drove home that night, my heart knew before my mind that it was over between he and I. It was a gut-centered feeling. All the questions that had been nagging at me about his lack of ability to connect emotionally and physically were answered, by that one keyboard stroke. I admit to tears as I turned onto the freeway heading home.

I called an old friend.

“What did you see? What kind of site was it?” she questioned me and I told her. “One sec. Let me check.”

I waited. I picked up the birthday card he sent me a month before. I remembered how when he rang up to my condo, I checked the video camera and saw him standing there with flowers and a wrapped gift. He made such a fuss over me on that day. Why this now? Maybe it was absolutely nothing…

“Okay, I googled it and yeah, it’s for guys to have cyber-sex. Basically, that’s what it is.”

“That’s disappointing. I understand that men are always going to be drawn to this. It’s sites like this, or porn films, or hookers. But, what is disturbing to me, is he has difficulty even putting his arm around me. And he doesn’t emotionally connect. He is so guarded, Sharon. And in being that way, I cannot trust him with my inner self. Blah blah blah, it’s all far too complex for me. He wants a cyber-space woman. It’s so much easier that way, isn’t it? He doesn’t have to open up his heart to her, she asks nothing of him. She’s there at the commit to pay with his visa, and she does what he wants her to do. It’s just so much easier than a real live woman who wants and needs to be played like a fine instrument.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to gently bring up the subject in an email. This doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. I’m going to see what he has to say.”

“Good luck with that, Adrienne.”

The following day I wrote him an email. Near the end I wrote this:

I understand that men will often use the internet for their sexual needs, especially if they’ve been single for a long time. I am wondering how important is that to you in your life?

I waited.

Four days later I received an email back. He thanked me for bringing up the subject and he needed to think about the question for a bit.

Okay, fair enough. I waited. After six days I became impatient and angry. I wrote an email that in hindsight, perhaps I ought to have drafted it. I hit send. My frustrations were evident in this one. I wrote that I found him to be emotionally and physically disconnected and perhaps the reason was, he preferred a cyber-woman rather than a live one. (yikes!)

He responded the next day.

Dear Adrienne,

I am saddened by your feelings towards me. I am very upset. But I want to thank you for the beautiful sweater. It was very thoughtful of you to buy it for me. I am sorry that this has turned out the way that it has.

Good luck to you in the future.

Michael

…and of course, there was a relationship file attached.

I regret what transpired. What if I had made light of the situation, right there and then after dinner after hitting on that icon? How different the outcome might have been. Communication is more difficult now that we have all these networking devices that were designed to make it all simpler. It’s not. People can now break up by ‘texting’. I know a young woman who was!

Babe its over deleted u off facebook still friends? chill

An email is so much easier than a face-to- face chat. Facing an issue with a potential partner is a challenge at the best of times and now we can skirt around it with emails. And the problem with that is the wires can be crossed and the connection is broken, forever. As it was with Fly_Boy and me.

He had issues with intimacy, and I with communication.

I called my neighbor who is like a cheering section for me and my trials in the dating world. I told her how even to the bitter end he sent me these relationship files. He’d rather that than talk to me, or so it seemed. And, I admitted, I would rather email than communicate.

“You’re the one with all the relationship experience, Adrienne. You should be the one sending him files,” she joked.

I rode my bike along the dike last summer and when I passed his hangar I veered off the path and towards the clubhouse where all the pilots hung out and had meetings. It was always unlocked and there was a washroom there. It was a steaming hot day and I wanted to douse my head with water from the tap. Just as I walked up the plank to the door I looked over to where Fly_Boy kept his plane and I saw him just standing there, outside, coffee cup in hand. I wondered if he was flying somewhere. I wondered if he missed me. He looked over my way. I don’t know if he recognized me, but I just looked away and shut the door.

I decided to give the Recycle-Bin, AKA Internet Dating, a break. Two weeks later I was still moping about Fly_Boy and then I got an invite from a couple of friends to attend a good old-fashioned dance. There would be live music and all kinds of single people would be attending. Why not? I thought. I should try something that is centered in the ‘real world,’ and give the ‘cyber-world’ a rest.

I agreed to go and as the day approached, which just happened to be Valentine’s Day, I felt excited that perhaps at the very least I would have a lot of fun. As it turned out I met someone who temporarily lifted me off my feet.

To be continued…

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